Friday, 13 March 2009

We are the world - USA for Africa

After Band Aid had sold millions of copies worldwide with 'Do they know it's Christmas?', it was almost inevitable that American popstars would rise to the challenge and come up with their own charity single. 'We are the world' was the result: a single of an epic 6'22 minutes length which is fine for the first three minutes but then turns into a long, protracted death rattle of a song, with far too many artists claiming a few lines of their own to sing.

The lyric 'There's a choice we're making / we're saving our own lives' was originally written as 'There's a chance we're taking / we're taking our own lives'. It was rewritten when it was feared the original phrasing's first part might look like the artists are patting themselves on the back while the last part might suggest collective suicide.

The single became a worldwide number 1 hit, raising more money for emergency needs in Africa, where several countries were suffering from an unprecedented famine. Not much has changed in over thirty years though: Africa is still in need.

My collection: 7" single no. 3541
Found: La La Land, Den Haag, January 9, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'We are the world' (USA for Africa) / 'Grace' (Quincy Jones)

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